LEWISTON — The third Lewiston-Auburn Film Festival is going wild.
Les Stroud, cable TV's "Survivorman," will headline an expanded 2013 festival, organizers announced Monday.
Also, a documentary featuring a 2,500-mile bicycle trek from Calgary, Alberta, to Lewiston, titled "The Peloton Project," will hold its world premiere at the event on April 5.
"This is really renegade filmmaking," festival Director Joshua Shea said of both headliners.
Stroud, a Canadian, pioneered a kind of survival filmmaking with his Discovery Channel series that drops him into inhospitable places — jungles, deserts, mountaintops — and leaves him alone to document his survival, Shea said.
Shea said he discovered the show while sick at home.
"I couldn't stop laughing at how agitated he was at having to film this TV show while he survived," Shea said. The more he watched, the more he began to see Stroud's storytelling.
"I really began to appreciate the filmmaking aspect," Shea said. And he reached out to Stroud.
"This is somebody who isn't making a traditional 30-minute sitcom. This isn't somebody who's making a two-hour feature. This is a guy who is a damned good filmmaker."
At the festival, Stroud plans to hold a book signing, host a question-and-answer session with footage from his show and play with his band, the Campfire Kings. His songs are about his connection with the Earth, he told Shea during the press conference Monday, teleconferencing from his hotel room in Las Vegas.
"You know I've had this kind of existence where I've survived in jungles and deserts and connected with remote, Stone Age peoples. And it's really touched my heart and my sentiments," said Stroud, who compares his band's musical style to Dave Matthews and Ray LaMontagne.
The festival is expected to show about 75 movies during its four days, beginning on Thursday, April 4 and concluding on Sunday, April 7. Last year featured a three-day format.
Thursday will offer Stroud's book signing event and a gallery showing by Canadian photographer Laura Bombier. Friday will feature the Peloton premiere. Saturday and Sunday will be for the rest of the films. Venues are still being determined, but the Lewiston and Auburn libraries have both signed on, as have the Community Little Theatre and the Public Theatre.
Saturday night will also feature a gala dinner and Stroud's musical performance at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston.
Ramsey Tripp, the director of "The Peloton Project," said he will be working to edit his film from about 100 hours of footage, much of it shot in rural Canada.
He must edit the film even as he continues his day job on commercial productions.
"There was a little bit of a lump in my throat whether we could get it finished in time for the festival or not," Tripp said.
"It will get done," he promised.
The finished film will compete for top honors at the festival alongside other films from Maine, the U.S. and a growing number of international films, Shea said.
For the first time, several movies have come from China, he said. Other countries include Austria and Israel.
There have been about 200 total submissions so far.
Tickets for the festival go on sale on Nov. 26. They range in price from $18 for tickets for admission to all of the screenings to $155 for all-access VIP tickets.